It's very heartening indeed to see the wide coverage Sir Alistair Graham's call to halt the May 2007 e-voting and e-counting pilots has received.
Perhaps his key sentence in the entire speech was:
“It is a matter of serious concern that we are experimenting with insecure methods of voting when the current registration and absent voting procedures are so insecure.”
In other words, the current system has flaws (which I absolutely agree with and have said many times) and the new methods being piloted are insecure. Hence we should not double or triple the number of insecure channels of voting we are running, let us fix the current system and stick with it.
The ever-sharp folks over at Headstar have posted an excellent E-Government Bulletin report on Sir Alistair's statement, which thankfully I can now link to directly as they have started blogging their content. They quote a senior government official close to the Cabinet Office:
“Would we support e-voting on a larger scale, up to a region-wide level? Yes we would, if we thought they [election officials] could do it properly.”
This is very interesting indeed. It shows that before the pilots have been run there is, by default, a positive stance about e-voting within government. Furthermore the quote hints that perhaps the push for e-voting is coming from somewhere more central in government than just the Department for Constitutional Affairs. Interesting…
UPDATE via Ideal Government:
The Times: Ministers ignore e-voting fraud warning
The Times brings together Sir Alistair Graham's call to halt the May pilots along with the Electoral Commission's letter to Lord Falconer about the pilot applications into one. There are more hard-hitting quotes from Sir Alistair and while it is reported that DCA had requested changes to the problematic pilot applications, what the changes were hasn't been detailed.